syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:55 pm

I’m new to this app and have some questions about how it works. Could you please help?


1.Can i route syphon source into Magic visualizer? If so, how? If not, are there plans for this feature?


2. In what ways can i control Magic visualizer with midi?  I see alot of mentions of midi in the user guide, but am confused about how it can be used. Could I, for example, map controls to a Midi controller like a Apc40 or an akai midi mix? Would that be helpful for a creative flow? Also, can i control it with midi signals from ableton?


3. How much can i adjust the way/amount in which the visuals react to audio? I’ve watch a tutorial and tried playing around with linking the modules to audio input, but am confused as to how it works and how much i can tweak it. Are there good tutorials/resources about this?


4.I would also like to make the visuals to react differently for different audio. For example, it would be cool if a piano could have a different effect than a guitar sound, and if higher notes have a different effect than lower notes. Is there any way to do these kinds of things?



Thanks, Dan
danklim
 
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Re: syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:41 pm

Hey Dan,
Can i route syphon source into Magic visualizer?

Yes, search for SyphonClient in the user guide.

In what ways can i control Magic visualizer with midi?

You can use virtually any midi controller to control most aspects necessary for performance. You can also record midi performance.

How much can i adjust the way/amount in which the visuals react to audio?

There are many different and flexible ways to make elements react to audio - subtle and extreme. There is a tutorial section on this forum and, though not many, there are a few video tutorial and example on YT. What in particular are you confused about and what would you like to achieve?

I would also like to make the visuals to react differently for different audio.

As already mentioned, there are many ways - try 'pitch', 'volume', 'tone', midi, thresholds, smoothing. It is good fun - have a play!
Sadler
 
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Re: syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:55 pm

Thanks Sadler!

I’m playing around with it now and it can do some very neat visuals! I just looked through all of the sample projects and played around with some of the modules in them, as well as played with the GSLS shaders.


There’s no specific effects I’m looking to achieve, I just want to have a kind of “toolbox” of effects/projects that I can quickly browse and switch (and possibly make quick tweaks/adjustments). I’m a musician that streams live video while i play and considering using this to bolster the visuals. While i’m playing music and streaming, I want to spend as little time as possible fiddling with the software, opening new projects, using my mouse etc.


The effects in some of the sample projects and GSLS shaders are way cool and i want to use them, but:

A) it felt kind of clunky to browse through them because it required me to navigate to them in the menu bar, then find them in the finder (without any sort of preview)

B) I want more preset projects to browse. And/Or the ability to tweak them quickly (if i want to quickly change the color or shape etc), without using my mouse.


I use resolume and it has some nice features that allow you to do things like:

-quickly preview any clip/effects,
- quickly change between visuals/effects (with mouse, midi controllers or keyboard shortcuts),
- and organize your visuals/effects so that you can quickly jump between different types/presets and know what kind of effect you want

I also use lumen video synth, which allows you to quickly see a preview picture for each patch and jump between patches for different looks.


1. Are any of these kinds of things possible with Magic?

2. Are there more presets that have premade visuals like the sample projects that i can download and use?

3. Is there any way to quickly browse and preview different preset projects/effects/scenes that would fit in my workflow while playing music and streaming?

4. Is there any way to quickly browse and preview different GSLS Shaders?

5. Regarding MIDI control, are there any specific MIDI controllers that people often use with Magic? I’m not sure how i could use a MIDI controller for it as there aren’t many knobs/buttons and every project is setup different. Is there MIDI control for adding preset modules/effects/projects? Or is MIDI control mostly used from other apps, like if I play music in Ableton and ableton sends the MIDI automatically? If thats the case, what would be the reasons/benefits of using that instead of audio reactivity?

6. Actually, there is one specific effect that i want to do: How can i make the colors black and white? I want to use some of these effects as masks in Resolume and they need to be black and white to do this.


Sorry for so many questions, just excited about this app and am eager to see how i can integrate it :)
danklim
 
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Re: syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:23 pm

Hi Dan, I just wanted to jump in so I could try to address some of your general concerns.

One of the main things is that comparing Magic and Resolume is like comparing apples and oranges :). Yes, in the end they both create video, but they function very differently. Resolume has a standardized interface with pre-mapped controls designed primarily for video content, whereas Magic is totally modular and node-based, and each scene can have a completely different layout with completely different types of content and controls. Magic and Resolume provide some similar functions, but they aren't competitors, and in fact, many people use them together (with Syphon/Spout).

In some ways, Magic is the "opposite" of a program that provides you with a lot of quick presets and pre-mapped controls. In fact that's one of the reasons I developed it in the first place. Presets in other programs quickly got boring for me, and they looked like what everyone else was doing. I wanted to get away from "canned" effects and very limited customizability.

So I'd say that if you're looking for quick-and-easy, Magic may not be for you :). There are some sample projects provided as you found, and there are also a lot of GLSL shaders provided, but the general idea is that you should spend time customizing and preparing your projects *before* your live performance. That way, you won't be adding new modules or loading new projects during your performance, but rather adjusting the effects by tweaking the parameters (or having them react to audio) and by switching scenes.

Tweaking the parameters is something that Magic does very well, but if you don't want to use audio reactivity or keyboard/mouse, you have to assign custom MIDI or OSC controls for every parameter. Because Magic is so modular, there would be no way to provide a standardized set of controls.

And just to emphasize again: the workflow is not designed for you to improvisationally load different projects or add new modules during your performance. Your project should be set up so that it already has all the effects and scenes you need. During your performance, you should focus only on tweaking the effect parameters and changing scenes.

To respond to a couple of your specific questions:

- Have a look at the Preview Window (Window > Preview Window), which lets you view and edit a different scene than the one going to the fullscreen output. If you wanted to preview different scenes and add/tweak modules without affecting the fullscreen output, this would be the way to do it.

- In v2.11 (currently in Beta), I've added some arrow buttons that let you browse through files without opening an operating system window.

- Regarding MIDI control: because each scene is totally independent, different scenes can have the same MIDI buttons mapped differently. You probably won't run out of buttons.


Does that help?
Eric
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Re: syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:40 am

Eric wrote:Hi Dan, I just wanted to jump in so I could try to address some of your general concerns.

....

Does that help?





Hi Eric, thanks for your thoughtful response! Yes definitely helps :)

I understand what you mean about it serving a different function than Resolume and I also do intend to use it with syphon outputting it into Resolume.

I like how Magic offers so much customization and its one of the reasons that i’m attracted to it- i can see that the level of customization means that there are so many cool effects possible for it and no other app seems to offer the same level of control over audio reactivity. So i want to take advantage of those possibilities and am also glad that the customization is there if/when i do want to make my own projects, but my main focus is on creating music so i would rather maximize the amount of time i play music and minimize the amount of time that i am creating the visuals, even before the performance. But i still want to be able to use the visuals and reactivity from Magic and presets and easy browsability would make that much easier. Even if i did make a collection of my own visuals from scratch in magic, i would still want the ability to quickly browse through them as i would browse presets depending on how i am feeling during the performance.

Does that make sense? Or is that kind of workflow just not possible with Magic?


“ In v2.11 (currently in Beta), I've added some arrow buttons that let you browse through files without opening an operating system window.”

By operating system window, do you mean the finder window? Will there be any picture or thumbnail of the files here? If so, can i try this beta?



“- Have a look at the Preview Window (Window > Preview Window), which lets you view and edit a different scene than the one going to the fullscreen output. If you wanted to preview different scenes and add/tweak modules without affecting the fullscreen output, this would be the way to do it.”


Perhaps i could get something similar to what i’m looking for by keeping my “presets” in different scenes and using this window to browse them? So i will have one big project in Magic, and that will have many many scenes and each scene will kind of serve as a “preset”, and then i can use the preview window to quickly browse the “presets” . So. for example, I would set this up by going through all of the sample projects and finding all of the ones that i want to use and adding them as different scenes in that one big project. Does this make sense? Think it would work well?



Also, Could you please help answer this one:

6. How can i make the colors black and white? I want to use some of these effects as masks in Resolume and they need to be black and white to do this.



Thanks, Dan
danklim
 
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Re: syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:25 pm

By operating system window, do you mean the finder window?

Yes, on Mac it would be Finder ;)

can i try this beta?

You can download the Beta at https://magicmusicvisuals.com/getbeta but it's for existing customers only (I'm not sure if you're still using the Demo).

Perhaps i could get something similar to what i’m looking for by keeping my “presets” in different scenes and using this window to browse them? So i will have one big project in Magic, and that will have many many scenes and each scene will kind of serve as a “preset”, and then i can use the preview window to quickly browse the “presets” . So. for example, I would set this up by going through all of the sample projects and finding all of the ones that i want to use and adding them as different scenes in that one big project. Does this make sense? Think it would work well?

Yup that's exactly what I'd suggest! :) Also make sure you enable Preview Mode (Scene > Preview Mode) so that you can easily click on different scenes to preview them without affecting the main output.

I would also suggest browsing through the entire User's Guide because there is a lot of helpful information. Here are sections on how to save individual scenes to their own project (from a bigger project) and how to import scenes into your current project:
https://magicmusicvisuals.com/downloads/Magic_UsersGuide.html#ImportingProjects
https://magicmusicvisuals.com/downloads/Magic_UsersGuide.html#SavingScenes

How can i make the colors black and white? I want to use some of these effects as masks in Resolume and they need to be black and white to do this.

Hmm, there are probably many ways but I think the easiest would be the HueSaturation module (Effects2D > HueSaturation) with Saturation set to -1.
Eric
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Re: syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:18 am

Awesome thanks so much! Thats super helpful! :D

Could you please help answer these follow ups?


1. Is there any way to send different scenes to different syphon outputs?


2. Is there any way to use MIDI to cycle through scenes the preview window? I like how the playlist window allows me to do this with the Magic window, but would like to do it with the preview window as well.


3. Is there any way to ‘preview' multiple scenes at a time (either with the preview window or a different method)? The preview window is helpful, but it would also be great if I could see little thumbnails for each scene to give me a quick glance at what is in each scene.


4. Is there any way to change how much a linked parameter reacts to the audio? Sometimes when I link a parameter to the audio, it bounces around or reacts to the audio more than I want. Is there any way to control this so that it reacts to the audio in more subtle ways? I’m imagining that I might be able to set a range somehow, so that rather than going from 0 to 1, it just goes from 0 to something like 0.2? Or maybe the range stays the full 0 to 1, but it just doesn’t change numbers as much? Is anything like this possible to make it more subtle?

If so, is there any way to use a midi controller to control the amount of audio reactivity for a specific parameter? So that the midi controller could control the range/amount in which the audio reacts?
danklim
 
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Re: syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:53 pm

  1. Currently there is only a single Syphon/Spout output per application instance.
  2. Not directly but you could set-up a meta-scene that allowed you to preview all the scenes through an input selector.
  3. Similarly you could reasonably preview, I would say, nine scenes in a meta-scene that arranged scenes in a grid.
  4. A combination of Scale and Offset will allow you to select any range. e.g 0..1 would become 0..5 when scaled x5 and then -2.5..2.5 when offset by -2.5. You can scale midi input this way too.
  5. It is a tricky issue to adjust the scaling of individual frequencies to cope with different types of music. There is the overall audio gain in the Input Sources window. You can also link modifier parameters (e.g. Scale) to midi sliders, knobs or even the clock. But adjusting the gain with fidelity across a number of modules is cumbersome.

The way I tend to work is to fine tune scenes to fit a style of music and just hope that it fits a range of tracks. Inevitably it doesn't but it is never terrible. I try to give my scenes descriptive and memorable names so there is less of a need to preview them. And with Resolume in the mix, I can off-load visuals to that while I adjust in Magic.
Sadler
 
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Re: syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:22 pm

Is there any way to send different scenes to different syphon outputs?

Yes. We have a SyphonServer module available as a separate download. See this topic: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1186&p=5561#p5561

I can't remember if I updated it for 2.1 but I'm happy to do so.

Not directly but you could set-up a meta-scene that allowed you to preview all the scenes through an input selector.
Similarly you could reasonably preview, I would say, nine scenes in a meta-scene that arranged scenes in a grid.

Yup those things are exactly what I'd suggest.

4. Is there any way to change how much a linked parameter reacts to the audio? Sometimes when I link a parameter to the audio, it bounces around or reacts to the audio more than I want. Is there any way to control this so that it reacts to the audio in more subtle ways? I’m imagining that I might be able to set a range somehow, so that rather than going from 0 to 1, it just goes from 0 to something like 0.2? Or maybe the range stays the full 0 to 1, but it just doesn’t change numbers as much? Is anything like this possible to make it more subtle?

Yes. As Sadler implied, this is what modifiers are for. See https://magicmusicvisuals.com/downloads/Magic_UsersGuide.html#AudioModifiers

If so, is there any way to use a midi controller to control the amount of audio reactivity for a specific parameter? So that the midi controller could control the range/amount in which the audio reacts?

Yes :). See https://magicmusicvisuals.com/downloads/Magic_UsersGuide.html#ModifierMIDI
Eric
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Re: syphon, midi, adjusting audio reactivity

Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:38 am

Eric wrote: And just to emphasize again: the workflow is not designed for you to improvisationally load different projects or add new modules during your performance. Your project should be set up so that it already has all the effects and scenes you need. During your performance, you should focus only on tweaking the effect parameters and changing scenes.


I started off with this workflow that Eric is describing, building a huge, complex project in the days prior to the gig and I found the temptation to 'turn all the toys on" early in the show was too great for me.
So my workflow now, is to have a standard media library and a blank project. As the gig slowly winds up over the course of the evening (4-8 hours duration) I would gradually add modules into the project and tweak it.
Everything is live and nothing I do is recorded for later playback, so if I make a mistake, I'm probably the only one to see it (unless I 'dead air' the video).
I'm solely working on visuals, someone else is playing the music, so my focus is totally on the visual aspects. I'm typically driving 3-5 video projectors.
In terms of hardware, have just replaced several laptops with a single Mac Pro 6 (7 video out ports).
I use a standalone laptop sitting next to me with an exact duplicate of the media library, so I can preview media with no chance of interrupting the live show.
mpr128
 
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